MLB - Yankees going down a slippery slope with A-Rod
By Rob Soria
With Yankee manager Joe Girardi deciding to bench Alex Rodriguez for Game 5 of their ALDS series against the Baltimore Orioles, the New York Yankees are now faced with a bit of a dilemma, surrounding their under-performing third baseman.
Edmonton - October 13, 2012 - With Yankee manager Joe Girardi deciding to sit Alex Rodriguez for Game 5 of their ALDS series against the Baltimore Orioles, the New York Yankees are now faced with a bit of a dilemma. After riding another masterful performance from ace CC Sabathia, to a series clinching victory on Friday night, the Yankee skipper must now decide what to do with his under-performing third baseman.
Having already replaced the former MVP during the late stages of the previous two games, Girardi decided to take it a step further, in a must win situation. Lifting A-Rod in favour of Raul Ibanez in the ninth inning of Game Three was one thing but replacing him in Game Four and then again in the winner take all finale, with Eric Chavez., it says something completely different..
While Ibanez has had some pretty "large" hits over the last couple of weeks for the Yanks, the same can not be said about the former Oakland A's third bagger. Chavez had a decent season in a part-time role in 2012 but as of right now, he has gone 0-5 with two strikeouts, over the last two games. This is who has pushed A-Rod out of the starting lineup?
Long-term, it obviously makes little sense, as New York still owes Rodriguez $114 million over the next five seasons but even in there here and now, it is a bit of a head scratcher. While I have been the head of the move A-Rod down the batting order fan club since Game Two, removing him completely from the starting lineup, accomplishes next to nothing.
He has once again been brutal during the post season but Girardi does not have a better replacement, with all due respect to Chavez, at his disposal. Obviously, the skip has lost confidence in Rodriguez being able to deliver the goods at crunch time but let's not be silly here.
In order for this club to have any chance of getting past the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, they are going to need consistent contributions from the likes of A-Rod and Curtis Granderson. As bad as the Yanks $30 million man has been, he is not alone in the category of under-performing Yankee hitters.
Many feel you don't mess with a winning lineup. Generally, that is a point of view I would agree with but not in this case. Having Alex Rodriguez start the American League Championship series on the bench, would do nothing but harm the mindset of the nineteen veteran, not only during the rest of the 2012 post season, but also for the following five seasons.
The short-term gain, is so minimal, that running the risk of ultimately losing A-Rod for the long-term, should make Joe Girardi's decision as to who to start at third base in the ALCS opener, a rather easy one. Frankly, it should be a no-brainer.
Rob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at email@example.com
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